Dundas’ Mark Jankowski took another big step in his ongoing hockey development, representing his country for the first time.
Jankowski, 18, a graduate of the Dundas Minor Hockey Association, was invited to last week’s summer training camp and exhibition series for Canada’s World Junior Team.
Coach Brent Sutter and Hockey Canada are putting together a squad to travel to Sweden for the World Junior Hockey Championships in December.
Unlike most of the players battling for limited spots on the team, Jankowski has not played for Canada at any level before.
“So excited to throw on the Team Canada jersey for the first time in my life tomorrow,” Jankowski posted on Twitter, Tuesday, Aug. 6, after two days of practices with Canada’s best junior players and a day before playing against Team Finland.
Although he didn’t pick up any points in two exhibition games, Jankowski appeared to hold his own.
He was on the ice for two of Team Canada’s five goals in a 5-3 win over Sweden, and skated on one of Canada’s top lines in a 7-3 win over Sweden on Thursday, Aug. 8. Jankowski did not play in the team’s 5-1 loss to the United States on Saturday afternoon.
Sutter tested Jankowski with several possible linemates, including top Toronto Maple Leaf prospects Frederick Gauthier and Ryan Rupert, as well as Feliz Girard and fellow Calgary Flames prospect Emile Poirier.
Jankowski was drafted by Calgary in the first round, 21st overall, in the 2012 NHL entry draft. He played last season with Providence College of the NCAA.
His chances of making Canada’s national junior team aren’t clear yet, but it will be tough with more than 20 forwards in the running for an estimated 13 spots.